When lawsuits are in fashion

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Leprechaun tests his girlfriend

The Leprikonsy (Leprechauns) band soloist, Ilya Mitko, now has a "tested" girlfriend. Until recently the girl, only known as Zhenya, was a member of the band Leto (Summer). At one point, Leto had a "cooperation treaty" with Leprikonsy and produced a remake of their song "Khali-gali, paratrooper." The new version was a success and Leto decided to record another remake, but not of a song by Leprikonsy but rather one by their long-standing competitor, Lyapis Trubetskoi.

Zhenya reacted immediately: She called this an act of "treason" and said that either Leto should stay loyal to Leprikonsy or she would quit. The bandleaders chose to stay loyal to their project and Zhenya proudly left.

Rumormongers say that Mitko was happy with Zhenya’s decision. After all, it’s not every girl who would sacrifice her career for the sake of her boyfriend.

Sarfonov’s fame reaches the equator

Famous Russian artist Nikas Safronov had no choice for his 45th birthday party but to celebrate it in the Ecuadorian capital, the city of Quito, Zhizn wrote. He went there at the invitation of Ecuadorian President Gustavo Naboa, who decided he would have his portrait painted by nobody else but Safronov.

Having learned how the Russian artist had sacrificed celebrating his birthday party at home with his friends in order to fulfill his desire, Naboa ordered a dinner party to be organized in his palace for Safronov and a present to be prepared for him.

When lawsuits are in fashion

The fashion magazine Vogue features beauties on its glossy pages that could take the breath away of many a men. And its editor-in-chief can cause quite a stir when she’s upset. Like she was when we asked her a few questions recently.

On Jan. 13, LifeStyle published a story about how Yelena Doletskaya, editor of the Russian Vogue, was being sued in court by a foreign journalist, John Helmer. Helmer, who writes for The Russia Journal as a freelancer, claims that he was Doletskaya’s former lover and that he bought an apartment while he was in a relationship with her. He’s locked out of that apartment now, but he claims he’s the rightful owner – because he paid for it – even though the apartment is somehow now registered in her name. He’s suing to get it back.

When Doletskaya failed to show up in court, LifeStyle journalists decided to find out more about her. An old classmate of hers mentioned that she had once been sentenced to prison for causing someone’s death, so we duly asked Doletskaya’s lawyer if it were true.

The lawyers refused to answer any of our questions; then, the next day, they served us with a lawsuit regarding the first story. Neither Doletskaya nor her employers, Conde-Nast, have returned any of our phone calls over the past three weeks.

The apartment story has appeared in a number of Russian-language papers, including MK, which ran a full-page story. Yet, as per our information, LifeStyle alone is being sued. So we were wondering, is this a bid to prevent the disclosure of other stories surrounding Doletskaya’s past?

As we found out, some years ago, a driver, with the exact same name as Vogue’s editor, Yelena Stanislavovna Doletskaya, with the same known address as of the Vogue Editor, was convicted and given a three-year prison sentence for causing the death of a woman in a driving incident under the Russian criminal code. The sentence was suspended and the leniency was attributed to her having no previous convictions, and on the basis that her alma mater, Moscow State University, assumed responsibility for her reform and correction.

Why all the fuss when we inquired about it? Doletskaya – who has also done PR consultancy for DeBeers – is considered the fashion queen of Russia, having worked previously for The British Council and is frequently seen in the company of royalty and fashion moguls. To schmooze with royalty, and working for DeBeers, British Council, Vogue etc, we assumed, she would have to travel very often to the United Kingdom. And to do that, she would have to answer question No. 20 on the British Visa application, "Do you have any criminal convictions, in the U.K. or elsewhere?"

The embassy said that that’s all confidential information. So we can only ask Yelena: Have you ever been convicted of a crime? And should we expect another lawsuit just for asking? With all the questions we have, it could be a lot of lawsuits.

A child born in chastity

Fashion designer and salon owner Arina Kramer, who has clothed more than a dozen stars, hasn’t stopped at that; she’s decided to add singing to her fame. The other day, she released her debut album "Moya Lyubov" ("My Love").

"The album is not even a hobby; it is a caprice on the part of a 100 percent successful and rich woman well-established in life," Zhizn quoted showman Andrei Wolf as saying.

Both the music and lyrics for the album were written by composer Viktor Chaika. Asked by a Zhizn correspondent whether there had been any romantic relations between her and Chaika – something widely rumored in Moscow – Kramer replied: "Frankly, no, unfortunately, no!"

"Gossip mills have long since had us married and in bed together," Chaika commented. "They even went as far as to allege that I had gotten Kramer pregnant. But everybody knows that I’m married and have a child. But I do have a child with Kramer as well – I mean the album, which is full of love," he added.

Underwood congratulates cosmonauts

Vladimir Tkachenko and Maxim Kucherenko from the Underwood electronic-music band emerged the first to congratulate Russia’s legendary space explorers and Heroes of Russia, Alexander Alexandrov, Valery Kubasov and Viktor Savinykh, on Cosmonautics Day which is celebrated in Russia on April 12, the day when Russian Yuri Gagarin orbited the Earth in 1961, making him the first man in space.

The musicians presented the cosmonauts with special gift copies of not-for-sale CD-ROMs with their latest hit "Gagarin, ya tebya lyublyu" (Gagarin, I Love You) at an event organized by the Snegiri record company – "Cosmos. Music. Internet" – in the Memorial Museum of Cosmonautics.

In return, the cosmonauts invited Underwood to their tennis tournament. "To tell the truth, I prefer classical music," Kubasov said, "but what these guys are doing is good. They are nice fellows!"

In conclusion, Alexandrov toasted the union of music and cosmonautics and wished "the young musicians to carry on producing warm and touching songs like these."

"Of course, we were nervous in the beginning," Kucherenko confessed. "It is a great honor to perform for the cosmonauts. But we carry a little Gagarin in our hearts. This holiday is for all mankind and there are few other dates that are as significant."

(By Dmitry Mozheitov)

Fetish burglars

Having returned to their home in St. Petersburg from a guest tour, Yeva Polna and Yury Usachev, from the band Gosti iz Budushego, found their apartment door sealed by police tape, Zhizn wrote. In the police office they were told that there had been a break-in and then were asked to draw up a list of missing items.

Doing an inventory of their possessions, Polna and Usachev were surprised to find all the expensive audio and video equipment in place, while Polna’s underwear, including her favorite black corset, and Usachev’s trunks and T-shirts were missing.

Valeria performs alone

Pop singer Valeria arrived in Nizhny Novgorod alone and performed without a supporting dancing team, motoring around the city in a Mercedes and wearing a black velvet overcoat, Zhizn said. In a brief interview with a Zhizn correspondent, she said that her latest music videos are her own production, that she has an innate feel for taste and that her favorite colors are orange, ultramarine and rose. Her hairdo was the idea of her husband who wanted her to look like she did on the day they met each other.

Valeria said her husband, producer Alexander Shulgin, does all the shopping except for jewelry, which she prefers to buy herself.

Asked how she has managed to stay in such good shape after having been the mother of three children, Valeria replied that she owes it all to the American Institute of Dietology, which developed an individual diet and exercise program for her. "Grapefruit juice is essential," she added. "It burns the fat."

Valeria said she spends her free time at her dacha in the Moscow region where her children – Anya, 7, Artyom, 6, and Senya, 2, help her about the garden.